By Yolandé Stander
CELLPHONE users around the country are claiming a national mobile platform has been illegally changing their prepaid packages to contracts without their permission, leaving them to incur various costs and stuck without vital phone services.
The system is run by Retail Mobile Credit Specialists (RMCS) – which provides discounted airtime and subscription across all major networks – and has resulted in some subscribers having their BlackBerry internet services deactivated.
Less than a month ago Eastern Cape teacher Janet Hyde, of Port Alfred, received an SMS stating her cellphone number had been activated for the “Vodacom Top Up 49 S for RMCS”.
“I immediately contacted Vodacom and the agent on the customer care line informed me this was an RMCS matter and gave me their call centre number,” Hyde explained.
“I never did this. I never respond to these SMS advertisements. I didn’t even receive anything from them. This all happened out of the blue and they couldn’t tell me how.” Adam Greenblatt said he would look into Hyde’s complaint. He said most complaints had to do with customers’ “confusion” and that most issues were resolved as soon as the customer contacted RMCS.
Meanwhile a storm has erupted on hellopeter.com about RMCS. Since April last year, more than 120 people have complained about the company, with some threatening legal action.
A woman from Pretoria wrote she had not subscribed to any service provided by RMCS, but had received an SMS stating she would be billed R30 every month.
A Vodacom customer from Johannesburg complained on the website that he, too, had his prepaid package changed to a contract without a written agreement or signature from him.
This is a shortened version of an article that first appeared in the print edition of Weekend Post on Saturday April 7, 2012.